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Did you know?

Arch / AUR packages can contain a changelog!

Here's how you can display it:

$ pacman -Qc pkgname

Sadly not too many packages make use of that awesome feature (yet). If you're a packager, please consider adding one to your packages!

If you're curious which of your installed packages already come with a changelog, run this:

$ pacman -Qc 2>/dev/null | grep "Changelog for"

This could come in really handy when updating packages.

Imagine: pacman/yay could diff the changelog between the installed and the new version of the package and show you what has changed since the last update.

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@fribbledom Ah yes, 20k lines when everything switches to including that. :-)

@gudenau

Just don't show it (by default) if the previous changelog was empty.

@gudenau

I guess. It's a very valid point one should consider for the implementation, though 🙂

@fribbledom on my arch box I found that 12 out of 675 packages have changelogs...

@fribbledom Sadly on my system only 7 packages have it, 6 of them packaged by the same packager and the changelogs are useless. And then one package that has a real changelog: iwd.

@fribbledom I can't find any thorough packager-directed documentation on this (man, --help, online, ...), happen to know any? (this is the "best" i found: wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/P) Especially wondering if there's any specification for the format, or if I can just directly provide the url to the changelog in the repo? Great find anyhow thanks! :)

@freebliss @fribbledom yeah I already knew about this feature, but don't use it for my packages, because I couldn't find any good explanation about how they really work, what format is needed and guidelines what should be written in them

@jr @freebliss

I think you're supposed to just use the project's changelog.

After all that's what the user is really interested in - I would assume.

@fribbledom @jr I looked inside the only package with a changelog on my system (using 'asp checkout libexttextcat'), findings are: a) it uses a manually created file shipped with the package, containing only changes of the most recent version b) the format seems to follow some standard but is probably arbitrarily chosen or at least apparently not interpreted (as pacman prints it 1:1) ... so that's nice for the user, and quite a bit of recurring work for the packager :D

@fribbledom *record scratch* There's not changelogs in arch by default? This did remind me I should reinstall apt-listchanges, which is sadly not installed by default.

@fribbledom Someone should write a generator that generates the changelog from the package's git/svn history during prepare().

@just

That exists, but frankly I'm not sure that's what the user cares about.

Good changelogs contain sentences in plain-english, explaining what has actually changed from a user's perspective.

For developers there's already "git log".

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